I attended a mom blogger conference last spring and met Amy Wilson, an actress and mother of three who, in addition to her one-woman show (Mother Load), wrote a book about motherhood called When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer & Other Mothers I Swore I I’d Never Be. Amy offered me a copy of her book, which was recently out in paperback. I accepted it politely, but to be honest, wasn’t sure I’d want to read it.
There are a lot of books about motherhood out there, and while they might be funny and original, I don’t always find them that compelling. First, there’s that whole non-fiction thing. But more, I think it’s just that I have often lived through what the book is about – pregnancy, infancy, cranky toddlerhood, etc., and I just don’t find it that enjoyable to read about someone else’s experience with the same stages.
Until Amy Wilson’s book.
From page 1, I just sailed through When Did I Get Like This?. She’s funny, she’s self-deprecating, and she has a way of making you nod along with her, reliving the ups and downs of motherhood while making you feel better about the whole thing. She isn’t always a perfect mom (because who is?), and it’s just fun to hear her relay the challenges that so many of us have been through.
Plus she’s a very good writer and she’s insightful.
Here is a passage about choosing a Facebook profile pic. With kids? Without kids?
The ideal of the woman who ‘has it all’ is predicated on that woman keeping her worlds totally separate. She doesn’t begin meetings talking about how the baby can sing ‘Old MacDonald’. She doesn’t close the deal with an raucous breast pump anecdote. We mothers can continue to participate in grown-up society only if we don’t let our mothering lives leak into our professional lives. We are of interest to the real world only to the extent that we don’t remind anyone of our real world. We mothers, like our children, are supposed to know our place.
I am recommending When Did I Get Like This? even to those who have shied away from these types of books before.
And – good news! I have a copy of When Did I Get Like This? to give away to an EDIWTB reader. Just leave me a comment with your email here before Friday July 15, when I will let random.org pick a winner.